Mark Bonges on Tech Challenges and IBM i Community
The VP of application development discusses family and career.
Mark Bonges poses with his Tesla in Evanston, Illinois., Image by Nicole Mundy
How did you end up in IT? I had no idea I wanted to go into IT until I took an introductory programming course in college. I found I was putting extra time in to solve the programming problems and realized that I really liked it. Once I get presented with a problem, solving it’s like an itch I have to scratch.
Name: Mark Bonges
Title: Vice president, application development
Company name: Credentials Solutions
Company’s function: Academic transcript processing for higher education
Headquarters: Deerfield, Illinois
IT Experience: 15 years
What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today? Some of our biggest challenges right now involve transitioning from a startup mentality to a bigger company. We’re putting systems and technology in place to help the company continue to scale and grow.
What IBM product could your company not function without? The IBM i! The server powers the majority of our business, from the employees to the end users on our website. It’s the backbone of the company.
What trends are affecting your work? The transition to cloud computing is a big one. Everything from file servers, email, phone systems, Linux* servers and now IBM i servers are moving to a cloud, if they haven’t moved already. Second would be open-source programming languages. The question is no longer if you’ll use an open-source language; it becomes which one(s).
What’s your favorite part of your day and why? Playing soccer or other games with my two boys.
What’s your favorite activity outside of work? I’m big into college football, so I love watching the games and following the University of Michigan.
What’s the geekiest thing you’ve ever owned? I’ve gotten several gifts where my family members have rolled their eyes at me (some people don’t understand the value of a mechanical keyboard). But the geekiest would probably be a travel folding Bluetooth keyboard.
If money were no object, what would you purchase and why? A Tesla Model X. I’m a big believer in electric cars and our minivan needs an upgrade.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? I’ve gotten so much great advice and help over the years, but one quote that sticks out was on the wall of my first boss’s office: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit,” as said by Harry S. Truman. That’s always resonated with me: Focus on what’s best for the company, give others credit for their efforts and the rest will take care of itself.
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